Spotlight: elMejorTrato Runs a Startup With No Bosses



elMejorTrato

Can a startup function without bosses? ElMejorTrato.com has proven that it can work. Two years ago, the tech company decided to get rid of managers and instead trusts its team to do their best work without direct superiors. The business also uses four-day workweeks instead of traditional five-day weeks, and has some non-traditional methods of communication and collaboration.

The company provides comparisons for financial products like loans, mortgages and credit cards. And it’s one of the biggest of its kind in South America. Find out more about this business and its unconventional methods in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does:

Provides comparisons for financial products like loans, mortgages and credit cards.

What Sets the Business Apart:

It has no bosses.

The company relies on employees who telecommute from throughout South America. Engineer and Co-founder Cristian Rennella said:

“Two years ago, we decided to remove bosses in our tech startup (no more managers) and started working only 4-days a week. Each one of us work from home also in different countries (Argentina, México, Colombia, Chile and Brazil) through Latin America.”

How the Business Got Started:

By two college friends.

Rennella and Hernán Amiune were computer engineering students at Universidad Católica of Córdoba Argentina when they decided to start elMejorTrato.com. The two used their own money and resources to start the company.

Employees (Including the Company’s Co-Founders):

36

elMejorTrato

Biggest Win:

Finding success using a non-traditional business model.

Currently, the company has more than 21 million clients with just over 30 employees who work remotely and manage themselves. Rennella said:

“With all these new habits, we grow our revenue by 204% with 34 employees. We believe in our heart that with all the existing technology, we all deserve a new way of living: more efficient work should be done (less emails and meetings) and more time should be spent with the ones that we love!”

Biggest Risk:

Eliminating traditional business methods.

Aside from getting rid of managers and 5-day workweeks, the company has also eliminated meetings and email communications. Rennella said this makes them more productive:

“We definitely got tired of using the email as a to-do list. The email wasn’t designed for this and let alone designed with enough efficiency to perform that role. We changed from a work methodology that had historically worked through a “push” mechanism to one with a “pull” mechanism. This basically means that nobody can send me a job-related e-mail to tell me what to do (push). I am the one now who selects the next tasks (pull).”

Secret Weapon:

A SAAS (software as a service) app called iAutonomous that the company developed itself.

Since the company eliminated email communication and meetings, they needed a way to manage tasks and communicate. They created iAutonomous for that purpose. The app allows each member of the team to create new projects or tasks and choose the ones they’d like to participate in. Rennella said:

“In this tool, we can see what each of the members is doing in real time. We don’t need a boss telling us what to do or if we did it correctly or incorrectly. We are all programmers and we know exactly how our peers work.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000:

Recruiting more great team members.

Favorite Quote:

“Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded.” – Paul Graham.

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.

Images: elMejorTrato

4 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. This can work if you work with a passionate team. But if you work with people who are only after the money, then you’ll be in for a surprise. Not all teams can function without bosses. period.

    • Definitely! I don’t think this model would work for most company but if you have the right team it’s definitely an interesting concept.

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